Today’s post is more about my observations rather than instructions on how to prepare for the journey. As you might expect, the journey has settled into a routine. Our daily time together isn’t so much about laying out the plan as it is about staying on the course now before us. Our newly formed “Man Cave” is the corner of the loft where the weight bench is stationed. The bench serves as our table while the walls serve as our message board—our journey outline and various definitions are taped there. The map is still a work in progress and will appear once it is somewhat complete. I am always up before my son doing any number of things downstairs. Some mornings I wake him up, while others I do not. I have noticed that on the mornings that I do not get him out of bed that he will place his bible and journal on the bench shortly after getting up. This speaks volumes to me. He is interested in our time together. Another observation is how intently he pays attention to the things we talk about. This tells me that he is truly putting his effort into the journey. It is more than just having some quality time with dad—which is important to be sure. My third observation about our journey is the fact that is has opened up a strong line of communication to talk about things in his daily life. For example, my son tends to be silly—almost a Jim Carey kind of silly—which, I do not really care for. If you will allow a rabbit trail, we recently watched some old family videos of the children. There he was in the splendor of his silliness, my oldest son. I told my wife that I had not realized just how ingrained that silliness is in his life. This revelation has helped me tremendously in our journey. I have been able to talk with him about how I feel about his silliness while not discouraging him from finding his own path to manhood. Let me explain how important this is. My desire for my son is to be a strong capable leader. In my opinion he will not accomplish this by being silly. For me the silliness was simply a part of his childhood that he will grow out of and to a degree that is true. However if I am not careful, I will begin to impress my will or desire upon his impressionable mind. Although I may feel good about this, but it may stifle an important element of his life that is designed by the Father. This is a fine balance to be sure and much discussion could be given to it.
Instead what I have chosen to do—not an easy choice to be sure—is direct him in understanding when and when not to exercise his silliness. He understands how I feel about it, but I believe he also understands that I want him to be the man his is supposed to me. Here is a case in point. Dinner is usually a family time of going over the day or talking about upcoming events or activities. On this particular evening he was asked a question by his mother. He answered in a goofy voice making silly facial expressions and crossing his eyes. The family laughed. Even though there was nothing wrong in and of itself, the way he answered was not appropriate. Let me be quick to say, he was being his silly self, not disrespectful. The situation allowed me the opportunity to later talk with him about it and explain why what he did was inappropriate. It was a great time. Why? Because it ended with another hug!